Friday, May 29, 2009

Pucci's Italian Cookies

The Mary and Pucci stories are legion in our family, but this is probably not the place to start telling them. Here is what I will say: Mary and Pucci are my husband's aunties. They were born in Italy and came over to America on a boat in the early 1930s. Their Pappa had built a house for the family in southern Connecticut and these two unmarried ladies lived in that house all of their lives. 

Pucci is gone now, but I can still picture her making these cookies in her kitchen on a wonderful old metal table, rolling out the dough with what looked like a sawed-off broomstick. Apparently there are versions of this cookie made all over Italy--called, variously, cenci (rags), chiacchere (gossips), lattughe (lettuce leaves), nastrini (ribbons), or lover's knots. We'll just go on calling them Pucci's Italian cookies. 

1 - 3/4 cups flour
2 tbl. olive oil
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tbl. anisette liqueur
a pinch of salt

Pucci used to pile the flour on her table, make a well in the middle, add the remaining ingredients, and mix the dough with her hands. I suppose you could mix the dough in a bowl. Knead the dough slightly and roll out thinly to about 1/8 inch thick.

Using a pasta cutter (serrated rolling wheel), cut the dough into strips about an inch wide and about the length of your hand. Fold each into a bow-knot and fry carefully in hot olive oil. 

Pile the finished cookies on a plate to drain. 

Since Pucci never wrote this stuff down, I found some of my information about these cookies on Italian Food.

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